Diego Sanchez defeated Clay Guida by split decision in a brutal, bloody brawl Saturday night at the Ultimate Fighter Finale.
The fight got off on a frenetic pace, with Sanchez storming across the Octagon and landing a series of punches directly to Guida's face, opening up a cut and appearing to break Guida's nose. The fight at first looked like it might be over in mere seconds, as Sanchez poured on the punishment. But Guida survived, and even after Sanchez floored Guida with a vicious head kick later in the first round, Guida kept going.
And then, incredibly, Guida turned the tables in the second round, taking Sanchez to the ground and pounding on him from the top. Although Sanchez showed off some good ground skills and landed some elbows from the bottom, the second was an outstanding round for Guida.
In the third both fighters were drenched in sweat and blood, but they weren't going to slow down the pace. Sanchez continued to get the better of Guida when the fighters were on their feet, and although Guida got Sanchez down to the ground, two of the three judges awarded the third round -- and the fight -- to Sanchez.
"The guy has a tremendous chin," Sanchez said of Guida afterward. "There's a reason he's never been knocked out. He's a machine. He's an animal. ... I love it when a guy's bleeding on top of me. Call me weird, but it means battle. It means war."
Guida agreed, saying of Sanchez, "He's a stud. ... It was an awesome fight."
Everyone who watched it would have to agree with that. This may have been the best fight of the year.
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UFC.com: Post-Fight Interviews